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When we talk video games, the big, on-going conversations are usually about new consoles and cutting edge hardware, along with huge AAA titles. We sometimes forget that we’re all carrying a perfectly good way of playing games in our pockets.

When it comes to good mobile games, we’re pretty spoilt for choice. So, with that in mind, these are our picks for the best eight games that deserve a spot on your smartphone.

If you’re keen on grabbing all of these games (look, we don’t blame you), you might be a little bit hesitant because you don’t want to burn through all of your mobile data in one go. The good news is that we’re also pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to mobile plans that let you be flexible with your monthly data allowance.

Optus’ Choice plans give you some nice flexibility when it comes to your monthly mobile data. One of their available options is their Unlimited Data Days, which is exactly what it sounds like. For 24 hours (and an extra $5 a day) you’ll get unlimited data to do whatever you want – like download all of these games.

1. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp 

If you don’t own a Switch but want to get in on this Animal Crossing thing that everyone is obsessed with, Pocket Camp is the game you want. It’s a striped back version of your standard Animal Crossing game, but still stays true to the spirit of the series.

You befriend your animal neighbours, buy and trade materials and items, and deck out your living area to fit your personal aesthetic goals.

Available on Android and iOS.

2. Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact is the biggest mobile game of the year – it was named the “Best Game of 2020” by both Apple’s App Store and Google Play. A lot of reviewers have compared it to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and, look, they’re not wrong.

It’s a fantasy action RPG, set in an open world, where you play as an adventurer searching for their lost twin. You progress through the game while completing various quests and challenges, which lets unlock new characters to join your adventuring party.

Genshin Impact is a lot of fun and if you’ve got a bit of a trip to get to and from work, school or wherever, it’s a great way to eat up that time.

Available on Android and iOS.

3. Alto’s Odyssey

Alto’s Odyssey is an endless runner where you snowboard through an infinite desert, doing sick tricks over dunes, ruins and whatnot.

It’s one of those games that’s really easy to pick up and put down, but a tonne of fun the entire time you’re playing it – even if you spend an hour trying to jump across that one chasm.

Available on Android and iOS.

4. Monument Valley

If you only play one mobile game from this list, make it Monument Valley.

The aim of the game is to make your way through various puzzle mazes, which you solve by repositioning parts of the map to create optical illusions to make your way through. You’re more or less trapped in an M. C. Escher painting and looking for a way to escape.

Even when you’re up against a trickier level, it’s hard to get mad at the game because it all looks so stunning.

If you really enjoyed Monument Valley and want more, a sequel was released in 2017.

Available on Android and iOS.

5. Chess.com 

Why, yes, I have been watching The Queen’s Gambit. Why do you ask?

Available on Android and iOS.

6. Pokémon Go

I know we were all obsessed with Pokémon Go for a hot minute there a few years back and then forgot about it, but here’s the thing: Pokémon Go still slaps.

New types of Pokémon continue to be added to the game, along with the introduction of more special events and new battling mechanics like Mega Evolutions. You can even battle Team Rocket now.

If you dropped off this game, now is the perfect time to pick it back up.

Available on Android and iOS.

7. Stardew Valley

The best word to describe Stardew Valley is “comfy”.

It’s an incredibly laidback simulator where the goal is to run your farm. You grow crops, raise live-stock, craft goods and travel to town so you can sell your wares.

On its face, that might sound a bit dull, but if you’re someone who has lost a lot of hours playing The Sims, you’ll understand how absorbing Stardew Valley is. There’s something fulfilling about it.

There’s no earth-shattering battles or epic final bosses to face down, just your farm that needs tending to.

Available on Android and iOS.

8. Exit the Gungeon

Exit the Gungeon is a fast-paced, bullet hell, where you attempt to escape the deadly Gungeon while dodging all kinds of enemy projectiles.

To keep things really interesting, the game will constantly change the type of weapon your using (even if you don’t want it to). So one second you’ll be blasting enemies away with a shotgun, when suddenly wielding a frog that fires bubbles.

There are so many different types of enemies to face and guns you can use – all of which change on each play-through – so it deserves to be played over and over. There are no dull moments.

Available with Apple Arcade.

Image: Monument Valley + Genshin Impact